New Milky Display

The Old Butter Factory in Busselton plans to have a display of the town’s early dairy industry, in the form of a unique milking cow.

The news article “All-moo addition” has full details on this story. It says: “Even though it can be milked all day, the cow and machine won’t harm one an-udder. Made of 3-ply sheeting and fitted with pipes and tubes, the wooden cow will be milked by an historical machine to simulate the process of milking a real cow.”

Elwyn Harries, the creator of the cow, has spent his entire life working in the milking industry. He grew up on a dairy farm about 10 kilometres from Busselton, and spent more than 30 years of his life servicing and fitting milking machines across Western Australia.

This is Elwyn’s fourth bovine creation. He created his first fibreglass cow in 2000 while working as a volunteer for the Royal Agricultural Society at Claremont Showgrounds.

Elwyn had been amazed that there was nothing to represent the dairy industry at the Old Butter Factory except a milk can and a separator, so immediately tracked down somebody from the agricultural society who took care of the old machinery.

“And from there, we actually built a 1930s-style dairy, with a 1926 milking machine in it that I refurbished, and there is a fibreglass Friesian cow,” said Elwyn.

“I tubed her up so I could get imitation milk circulating so she looks as though she’s milking all day.”

He has been exhibiting his own cow “Buttercup” at country shows and festivals ever since, drawing the attention of Jill Brooks of Dardanup Heritage Park a few years ago.

She asked Elwyn whether Buttercup was pregnant, telling him, “I want her calf.”

A similar reaction came from Glenice Scott of the Old Butter Factory, who first saw Buttercup when Elwyn was introducing her to school children in Busselton.

Elwyn has since created two of the cows for Dardanup Heritage Park, with Busselton resident Rhonda Bartlett painting the second one. Rhonda will also paint the one for the Old Butter Factory.

“Most of the group settlement houses had little jersey cows,” said Rhonda. “The milk was very rich and brought a lot of cream and butter.”

Rhonda, a member of Busselton’s historical society, also designs scenes for Busselton Repertory Club.

She has done a number of murals for the society, including the jersey cow at the Old Butter Factory’s shed where the new milking cow will be displayed.

For more details on the Old Butter Factory, please check out their page

About Benji

I am married and live on a farm near Margaret River with my wife, daughter and son. I set up The Margaret River Guide to assist people coming to Margaret River Western Australia to easily find what they are looking for. I also wanted to allow people to find activities they did not know about and to be able to openly comment on/ review businesses.

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